Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Take it away Rilke!

For the next 10 days, I'll be at a Vipassana Meditation retreat. I will be meditating silently and surely encountering limits I've never know I had as I explore my mind. This is part of my goal to do one thing every month in 2013 that challenges me and allows me to point to my comfort zone from well outside of it. There you are comfort zone.

I have some posts lined up for while I'm away since I'll also be away from the interwebs. 
Stay tuned.

Today I thought I'd let Ranier Maria Rilke do the talking. These excerpts are from Letters to a Young Poet which is in the running for my favorite book of all time.

"But the fear of the inexplicable has not only impoverished the reality of the individual; it has also narrowed the relationship between one human being and another, which has as it were been lifted out of the riverbed of infinite possibilities and set down in a fallow place on the bank, where nothing happens. For it is not only indolence that causes human relationships to be repeated from case to case with such unspeakable monotony and boredom; it is timidity before any new, inconceivable experience, which we don’t think we can deal with. But only someone who is ready for everything, who doesn’t exclude any experience, even the more incomprehensible, will live the relationship with another person as something alive and will himself sound the depths."

"For if we imagine this being of the individual as a larger or smaller room, it is obvious that most people come to know only one corner of their room, one spot near the window, one narrow strip on which they keep walking back and fourth. In this way they have a certain security. And yet how much more human is the dangerous insecurity the drives those prisoners in Poe’s stories to feel out the shapes of their horrible dungeons and not be strangers to the unspeakable terror of their cells. We, however, are not prisoners. No traps or snares have been set around us, and there is nothing that should frighten or upset us. We have been put into life as into the element we most accord with, and we have, moreover, through thousands of years of adaptation, come to resemble this life so greatly that when we hold still, through a fortunate mimicry we can hardly be differentiated from everything around us. We have no reason to harbor any mistrust against our world, for it is not against us."

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